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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Interoffice Football Tournament continues
Four weeks remain in the 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament, and all teams continue their efforts to show off their sporting talents to secure a spot in the upcoming finals.
Due to Hurricane Earl, games have been postponed until further notice.
Here are the scores from last week’s games:
Two airlines adding direct flights to Belize
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced on Monday, August 8th that WestJet will be offering flights between Canada and Belize. WestJet Airlines officially announced that the service will operate twice a week, starting on Saturday, October 29th.
The airline will depart from the Toronto Pearson International Airport at 9:15AM and arrive at the Philip Goldson International Airport at 11:59AM. The flight to return to Canada from Belize is scheduled to depart around 1PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays. After adding Houston, Texas to Belize flights in November of 2015, Southwest Airlines announced that they are adding a seasonal direct flight from Denver, Colorado to the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. On Thursday, August 4th, Southwest indicated that the new service will be in effect next year from Saturday, March 11th and will run through Saturday, April 22nd.
HURRICANE EARL RELIEF OPERATIONS SITUATION REPORT #4
1. PEOPLE IN SHELTER: There are a total of 170 persons in Shelter as follows: 91 in Belize City: Unity Presbyterian has 16 persons, St. John’s Vianney has 31 persons, and St. Luke has 44 persons. In Cayo: Teakettle has 16 persons in shelter and St. Matthews has 31 persons. There 28 persons in the Hattievile Community Centre recently built by US Southern Command. Orange Walk has 4 persons in one shelter in San Carlos. 2. PEOPLE ASSISTED: approx. 1,580 household or about 8,000 people, as reported by the National Relief Supplies Committee/Ministry of Human Development. (1200 households assisted in Belize City proper: Belama, Vista Del Mar, Ladyville, Lords Bank and Sand Hill. Old Northern Highway communities: La Democracia, Gracie Rock, Hattieville, Western Pines and Freetown Sibun.
HURRICANE EARL RELIEF OPERATIONS SITUATION REPORT #3
. SITUATION. Immediate relief to the affected people and restoration of critical lifeline facilities continue as the country returns to normalcy less those severely impacted. NEMO and the Government providing assistance with help from the community. The Utility Companies operations are progressing at a steady pace enabling the country’s recovery.
2. PEOPLE IN SHELTER: There are a total of 170 persons in Shelter as follows: 91 in Belize City: Unity Presbyterian has 16 persons, St. John’s Vianney has 31 persons, and St. Luke has 44 persons. In Cayo: Teakettle has 16 persons in shelter and St. Matthews has 31 persons. There 28 persons in the Hattievile Community Centre recently built by US Southern Command. Orange Walk has 4 persons in one shelter in San Carlos.
Dianira Rivera to represent Ambergris Caye at Miss Belize Universe
Ambergris Caye will be proudly represented at the upcoming Miss Belize Universe pageant by 20-year-old Dianira Rivera. The pageant is taking place on September 10th at the Belize Bliss Institute, where delegates from across Belize will be competing for the coveted title of Miss Belize Universe. The winner will represent Belize at the Miss Universe pageant later this year.
According to Enrique de Leon, one of the pageant’s organizers, the program has been dormant for the past seven years. Ambergris Caye representative Rivera is anxiously waiting for the pageant to take place. “There are no words to express how happy I feel for this opportunity. I have been into modeling for quite some time now, but this is the first time I get to represent San Pedro in a pageant like this. I feel very privileged and I will do all my best to represent the island well,” said Rivera. She added that she currently is training and working as she prepares for the big event.
Town Council Advises on Rebuilding of Piers/Docks After Hurricane Earl
The San Pedro Town Council hereby advises all dock/pier owners that they must re-apply for their dock/pier permit before re-building or making any repairs. The Council asks for pier owners to visit the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority at the San Pedro Town Council offices for more details in regards to this matter.
On August 3rd, Hurricane Earl made landfall in the country of Belize causing major damages in the mainland and in the cayes of Belize. Fortunately, the damages were only of material items and not a loss of human lives was reported, which we are extremely grateful. Ambergris Caye was one of the cayes majorly affected by this hurricane, since many piers/docks washed ashore due to the high and powerful waves that came with the hurricane.
According to Mayor Daniel, the collections of dock fees totals to at least $1 million dollars every year, monies that he hopes to gain jurisdiction for the island municipality. Currently, all the fees collected go directly into the general revenue of Central Government and distributed evenly countrywide; it does not come back directly to Ambergris Caye.
San Pedro Fire Victims Receive Funds
What could possibly be deemed one of the biggest fundraising efforts ever in the history of Ambergris Caye came to an end on Tuesday, August 8, 2016, as the disbursements of funds for the San Pedro Fire Victims was carried out at the San Pedro Lions Club.
Fundraising efforts for fire victims of San Pedro was managed by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) from its inception with monies collected placed into the accounts of the Belize Red Cross and the San Pedro Lions Club. When NEMO took control there were about 15 to 20 organizations all working together to collect funds and donations for the fire victims; their efforts worked tremendously well.
Assessments that were carried out have concluded that the total loss from the fire amounted to $2.1MIL. Fundraising efforts, assessments and collection ended on July 31 with a total contribution of $247,778.77. There are two pending donations that will bring the total well over the $260K expected.
Misc Belizean Sources
SBDC Introduction to Marketing Plan Workshop
Mrs. Vicky Heredia, Business Advisor, SBDCBelize. Date of Workshop: August 18th, 2016. Time: 9am - 12 noon. PRICE: $30.00. Location:
La Inmaculda Credit Union's Training Room, 5 Park Street, Orange Walk Town, Belize. The objectives of this workshop is to improve your knowledge of the market planning process, give you a set of tools which will help you design, implement and track your marketing plan, give you a better understanding of marketing communications and how to use it in supporting you marketing plan. You will learn how to write an actionable targeted marketing plan, how to develop your expenses and sales budgets and how to develop your marketing communications strategy and marketing communications mix.
REBUILDING OF PIER/DOCKS AFTER HURRICANE EARL
On August 3rd, Hurricane Earl made landfall in the country of Belize causing major damages in the mainland and in the cayes of Belize. Fortunately, the damages were only of material items and not a loss of human lives was reported, which we are extremely grateful.
Ambergris Caye was one of the cayes majorly affected by this hurricane, since many piers/docks washed ashore due to the high and powerful waves that came with the hurricane.
The San Pedro Town Council hereby advises all dock/pier owners that they must re-apply for their dock/pier permit before re-building or making any repairs. Kindly visit the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority at the San Pedro Town Council offices for more details in regards to this matter.
First Friday Of August Roadside and Beach Trash Pick Up
We still have our work cut out for us....this Friday, be there if you can. Thank you! We're at it again, and need your help! Please join us and our friends at Grand Caribe Belize, on Friday, August 5th, as we do our part to keep our Isla Bonita clean! We meet at the Paradise Theatre, just north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge at 9 am. We provide bags, gloves, trash pickers and water; all you have to do is bring your community spirit and enthusiasm!
Belikin National Tournament Darts, Games, Raffles
Sunday August 14, 3pm-9pm
Belizeans attending young leaders of Americas Conference
Andrew Munnings is one of the 3 Belizeans selected to represent Belize in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative hosted in Washington D.C by President Obama. They will be in Washington from October 4th to November 12th.
COrozal "Identity" Youth Art Exhibit
You are kindly invited to a night of artistic appreciation honouring our young visual artists. Please join us Friday August 12th beginning at 7pm.
San Joaquin Fiesta
FIESTA! The San Joaquin Fiesta is underway, with major events from Aug. 12 through 16.
There are Novenas daily at San Joaquin Catholic Church (check with the church for times) AND Miss San Joaquin Fiesta 2016, cultural presentations, fireworks, a public dance and mechanical rides.
The Belize Zoo: Day 6 of our clean-up campaign
The Zoo officially re-opened yesterday with clear pathways, while restoration efforts continue "behind the scenes." Despite the damage we suffered, we are fortunate it was not worse. Our thoughts are with our fellow Belizeans who did not fare as well with the passing of Earl. In solidarity with their plight, TBZ will be donating towards the recovery efforts being undertaken in Belize City. Entrance fees collected on Friday August 10th will be put toward this donation. We encourage all our local supporters, tour guides, tour operators etc to spread the word. Guests coming to the Zoo this week that also wish to make monetary or in-kind donations towards these efforts are welcome to drop them off at our front desk. All donations will be taken to the Belize Red Cross (Belize City Branch). Spread the word!
Corn Leaf Doll Making Workshop
August 15-19. Want to finish the summer with a big bang?? Well, join us at Banquitas for the final Summer Program being offered. We have the privilege to host Mrs. Raquelin Pacheco from Mexico to teach us how to make beautiful dolls out of corn husk. Don't miss out on this opportunity and give us a call to register.
Post Party today! Whoop whopp! Yeah yeah. Come one come all. Crazy Canucks 2p.m
HURRICANE EARL RELIEF OPERATIONS SITUATION REPORT #5
Utilization of the Seabed and of 66 Feet Reserve
The Lands and Surveys Department, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, advises the general public that in Pursuant to Section 2 of the National Lands Act, National Land includes the seabed and the 66 feet reserve, which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals.
The general public is also advised that the Lands and Surveys Department, by powers of the National Lands Act (Revised Edition 2003), has jurisdiction over the 66 feet reserve and the seabed (National Land). Although the use of the seabed and the 66 feet reserve are regulated under the National Lands Act, Section 6 Clause 1, the construction of over-water structures on the seabed falls under the Belize Building Act, Chapter 131 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2003, which is implemented by the Central Building Authority. The Minister responsible for lands must, therefore, issue approval in writing prior to occupation or use of the 66ft. reserve and erection/construction or placement of any permanent or semi-permanent structures on the seabed.
Palapa Bar and Grill is on the mend...and with the help of many they soon will be back, good as new!
Picking through the final piles of debris, Reynold Chee found one more Palapa Bar and Grill shirt, which he raised as a flag over the beach yesterday afternoon. We are so grateful for all the assistance from our staff and other community members who have worked countless hours in the massive clean up efforts during the last week. We couldn't have done it without you!
International Costa Maya Festival
Although Hurricane Earl forced the annual International Costa Maya Festival to be cancelled last week, Belize still managed to show our charming hospitality to the lovely contestants who were here to participate in La Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. Even though they never had the chance to take to the stage, it looks like they still managed to have some fun!
Jazz Festival details!
It will be a weekend filled with music and culture!
FRIDAY (through Tuesday): San Joaquin Fiesta: San Joaquin Village, Corozal
FRIDAY: Belize International Jazz Festival Welcome Show and Jam Session Bliss Center for Performing Arts
SATURDAY: Belize National Song Competition finals at Memorial Park [Hear the songs and vote! www.mynationalsong.bz]
SATURDAY: Dinner and Jazz at Best Western Biltmore Belize AND jazz concert at Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize
SUNDAY: Jazz Brunch at Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize AND Belize International Jazz Festival Opening Concert CAYO Welcome Center
Making waves--and baskets!
The Summer Art Wave 2016's Basketry Workshop is well underway with two days of peeling vines, today our participants began the weaving process.
UNIBAM Grand Slam: Gay Sex Law Struck Out
Tonight Belize's LBGT community is rejoicing – after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck down the law criminalizing sodomy. It's the end of more than 3 years of waiting for gay rights activist Caleb Orozco who challenged the constitutionality of Section 53 of the country's Criminal Code in May of 2013.
That law reads, "every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years." Orozco told the court that the law criminalizes intimacy between gay men who are consenting adults, and it violates their rights.
UNIBAM: And Justice For All..
So, as you saw in our story, Caleb Orozco and his legal team asked us to attend a press conference at the UWI Open Campus.
That's the Belize home-away-from-home for the UWI Rights Advocacy Project known as U-RAP's Faculty of Law which was pivotal in getting this case to the Supreme Court on behalf of Orozco and UNIBAM.
Today, Orozco's legal team sat down and explained the significance of the ruling, and the fact the churches cannot force an appeal. That appeal will have to come from the Attorney General and the Government of Belize, and they have only a short window to file it:
Westim James, SC - Attorney for Caleb:
"We found that Caleb's rights to human dignity, privacy, equality before the law, equal protection of the law and freedom of expression were breached. The court then read down the legislation to exclude consensual same sex intimacy in private."
Mason's Wife Melissa Ferguson Remanded For Conspiracy
Melissa Ferguson - she's Danny Mason's wife – who turned herself into police two days ago. Well today after her 48 hours expired, the 56 year old was taken to Belmopan Magistrate's Court and charged for one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping pastor Llewelyn Lucas and David Dodd. The case went before Magistrate Emerita Anderson this afternoon with Richard Dickie Bradley appearing for Ferguson. It turned out to be a mine-fiasco police when the charge sheet had to be amended because the five-page document never once said who she conspired to kidnap. That forced an hour long adjournment to amend the document, after which Richard Dickie Bradley tried to get bail for his client. He said that his client – who had been in Belize for 3 years - was not a flight risk because she had business interests here.
Mason Will Go Back To Court For Kidnapping Friessen
But police are taking the big guns to Belmopan Magistrate's Court tomorrow. Assistant Commissioner Chester Williams will go to Belmopan tomorrow to arraign William Danny Mason and his associates for conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping for Lloyd Friessen. This is a new charge – relating to the event that may have eventually lead to Pastor Lu's beheading. Friessen – who is a large grain producer in Spanish Lookout - alleges that Mason conned him out of three hundred thousand dollars by promising a corn shipment from Argentina which never arrived. When he pressed Mason for the return of the cash – he alleged that he and his wife were abducted form his home on Intelco Hill and taken to Mason's Ranch where they were threatened/ all messages to and form Mason were also deleted from their phones, and he was allegedly told to pay Mason 2,500 dollars weekly to avoid further violence. Friessen fled the country weeks later, then recently returned after the Mason arrest to make his statement, and left again fearing for his safety.
Mason Makes Sly Suggestions On Pawpa Mena Contributions
And while Mason will be back in court tomorrow talking to the judge, earlier this week he was talking to the Amandala. Tonight, we have just a little bit more from that phone conversation.
We showed you his bold but questionable claims from behind the prison walls of his supposed interactions with Top Cop Edward Broaster who categorically denies any such thing.
The Amandala's Micah Goodin also took that opportunity last week to question him about UDP Dangriga Area Rep. Frank Pawpa Mena. As you would remember, the Prime Minister disclosed that Mena took a contribution of $10,000 from Mason for the Dangriga By-Election. Mena has said that he will return it.
So, when Goodin asked him to confirm if the amount was indeed $10,000, Mason suggested that it was a bit more:
EU Gives Hurricane Earl Relief
The European Union has announced that it will give Belize 50,000 Euros in humanitarian funding to assist the storm affected populations in the wake of Hurricane Earl. The EU funding will be earmarked for the Belize Red Cross, to deliver safe water, sanitation services and hygiene promotion, reduction of risks for vector and waterborne diseases, non-food items and livelihood asset replacements for the most vulnerable families.
A release says the humanitarian aid will directly benefit 2,200 persons who had their homes damaged and are currently without water or electricity.
Chiquibul From Above
We usually bring you stories of our 7news team inside the Chiquibul, trekking through the thick jungle landscape. Well, today we got to see the Chiquibul from up above .The manager of the national park invited us to accompany the Friends for Conservation and Development on their aerial tour and here is a short excerpt from the story highlighting the importance of this forest fly over
Derick Chan - Manager, Chiquibul National Park:
"Well what is important about this flight is because we want to create awareness to the people of Belize, to the government of Belize, to everyone that indeed we continue to have these agriculture incursions and there is a lot being done and there is a lot more that can be done but it is important because creating awareness it helps us generate support from people and also to really start to get cracking down on this problem that we have had for the past 30 years."
Murder Trial Ends, Verdict Next
Today, after hearing closing addresses from counsels for the defense and the prosecution, Justice John Gonzalez, in the trial of 21 year old Kurtis Lamb. He's charged with the murder of Justin Roches, which happened back on August 3, 2011.
The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, alleged that Lamb and Michael Meighan had an altercation in which Lamb was beaten by Meighan. He then left with the intention of settling the dispute with a gun. When he returned with a with that weapon, he fired upon Meighan, but he missed. Police investigation shows that he then turned the weapon on Roches who was at the basketball court at the time, and that's when Lamb gunned him down. Those injuries he suffered were fatal. Meighan, who was the prosecution's lead witness, testified that he saw Lamb fire the shots.
Framing The Gay Rights Issue
And so the judgment on the Caleb Orozco/Unimbam case is in and the LBGT community won. But, it’s not as simple as that, and 5 years ago, Janelle Chanona looked at the multifarious and complex issues guiding this case:..
Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, May 13th 2011:
"I would limit myself to saying that the government as a government has taken the position that it needs to argue for the constitutionality of the law that is in place that's being challenged and so I would not go beyond that official position. I am not prepared to comment on my own physiological conviction or lack thereof. That is the official position of the government. This is one time when it might be wise for me to say nothing more."
Pastor Scott Stirm, Jubilee Ministries, Belmopan:
"By natural law they cannot reproduce. Therefore they must recruit and I want to say this in the strongest terms possible. That's what this is all about. This is their evangelistic campaign."
And finally tonight we have a few words from Belize's Olympic team in Rio.
The 3 athletes are Renick James who competed in Judo today, along with Katy Sealy who competes in the 100 meter hurdles, and Brandon Jones in the 200 meter. All three are foreign born, raised and resident.
Yesterday they spoke to our broadcast partner Canoc Broadcasting Inc about what it feels like to be in Rio:…
Renick James lost in the round of 32 today. You can keep watching coverage of the Belizean and Caribbean athletes right here on Channel 7.
San Ignacio Wooden Bridge Destroyed By Floods
And before we go tonight – a few notes on flooding IN THE WEST. WATER HAS RECEDED ON THE IGUANA CREEK BRIDGE AND TRAFFIC IS MOVING AS NORMALLY. NO SUCH LUCK FOR THE TMEPORARY BRIDGE IN CAYO WHICH – A SYOU CAN SEE HERE WAS OCMPLETELY DESTROYED BY THE FLOODS IN THE MACAL RIVER LAST WEEK. PRESENTLY ONLY THE HAWKESWORTH BRIDGE IS OPERATIONAL AND DRIVERS ARE ASKED TO HAVE PATIENCE WHEN MOVING OVER INTO SAN IGNACIO BECAUSE IT IS A LONG QUEUE TO GET THROUGH.
In other news from NEMO, there are a total of 119 persons still in Shelters countrywide. NEMO says it has assisted about 8,000 people. They say that Housing material and relief operations with very preliminary roll out is being planned for Thursday morning for self-help cases.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Section 53
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin delivered a highly anticipated decision this morning in the Supreme Court. On July 2010, Caleb Orosco, president of UNIBAM took the government to court challenging Section [...]
Ruling Elicits Mixed Reaction
The groundbreaking decision handed down by the Supreme Court earlier today has been met with mixed reception. Immediately following the ruling, Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, [...]
NEAB Displeased With Ruling
The National Evangelical Association of Belize has been vocal in its objection to the challenge ever since it was filed six years ago. This morning, outside of the Supreme Court [...]
UNIBAM Celebrates Legal Victory
UNIBAM President Simone Hill says that the legal victory, aside from being a significant human rights achievement in Belize, was the result of a collective effort which included input from [...]
Melissa Ferguson Arraigned for Conspiracy
At around four-thirty this evening Melissa Ferguson was formally arraigned on one single count of Conspiracy to Kidnap two persons – Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and one other. No single step [...]
Attorney Dickie Bradley Proclaims Ferguson’s Innocence
Bradley maintains that his client, Ferguson, could and would have left the country if she was guilty of the crime for which she has been charged or for the murder [...]
Bradley Says Police Evidence is Non-Existent
He maintains that it’s all about optics – pointing out that while Ferguson has been charged for conspiring to kidnap Pastor Lucas and another man, she has not been charged [...]
Dangriga Home Invaders Remanded to Hattieville Prison
On Tuesday, we showed you the video footage of a home invasion – shocking footage of three women storming into the home of Brimimie Martinez, tearing off her blouse and [...]
Are Police Investigating Ministers’ Involvement with William Mason?
As we showed you earlier in our newscast, Melissa Ferguson has been sent to the Belize Central Prison on remand, another chapter in the William Danny Mason saga which continues [...]
How Did William Mason Acquire Property in Belize?
Questions have also been raised about the properties held by William Mason – notably the mansion on Intelco Hill in Belmopan and the sprawling Outback Ranch at mile thirty-one on [...]
Bradley Has Information on Ministers, but Won’t Share Yet
And then there’s the evidence we keep hearing about – all that evidence which supposedly incriminates those high-ranking politicos and policemen who used to be fixtures at Masons house. Mason [...]
Caribbean Internet Governance Forum Hosted in Belize City
Today, day one of the twelfth annual Caribbean Internet Governance Forum was held at the Radisson in Belize City. Hosted by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union in collaboration with the Public [...]
How Does Belize Rate in the Caribbean?
Packet Clearing House is an internet nonprofit service organization that focuses on internet economy and helps developing nations and other countries to strengthen their internet capacity. Although this year an [...]
Forum Discusses Cyber-Security
The forum also saw the participation of ICT Manager Sean Fouché, from the implementation agency for crime and security with CARICOM Impacts. Cyber security, specifically when it comes to money [...]
Belize City Woman in Court for False S.S.B. Claims
Social Security took a woman to court this evening for making false claims to collect benefits during a period of eight months last year. Mildred Vassel, an employee of Ready [...]
New York Times in Belize Exploring Simone Biles’ Links to the Jewel
For Belizeans following the Olympics, the name Simone Biles may have popped up a number of times by now. The nineteen year old gymnast has already won several world championships [...]
Belize Makes Appearance in Judo Match in Rio
In Rio today, Belize’s own Renick James went up against Ovini Uera of Nauru; a tiny island nation northeast of Australia, in the men’s ninety kilograms Judo event. With Judo’s [...]